Bones are living growing tissues that are continuously being broken down and rebuilt. Before our 30’s, more bone is rebuilt than removed resulting in bones that are larger and more dense. As we grow older, bone withdrawals can be greater than deposits leading to a loss of bone density. Fortunately, you can take action to improve or maintain your bone health at any age. Consuming adequate calcium, maintaining normal levels of vitamin D and doing regular exercise are three important factors for ensuring healthy strong bones.
Calcium and bone health
More than 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in our bones and teeth where it supports their strength and structure. The remaining 1% is found in our blood, muscles and cellular fluids where it’s used for vital processes such as muscle contraction and nervous system signalling. Maintaining adequate calcium levels is essential for maximizing bone health at all stages of life. When we don’t consume enough calcium, it will be withdrawn from our bones for use in other parts of the body. If our body withdraws more calcium from our bones than is deposited, bone density will slowly decline.1 It’s recommended that women 19‐50 years and men 19‐70 years consume 1000mg of calcium per day. Women 50+ and men 70+ should consume 1300mg.1
Vitamin D and bone health
Vitamin D plays an essential role in bone health as it increases the absorption of calcium from the small intestine into the body and regulates the level of calcium in the blood. Adequate vitamin D can be achieved through moderate exposure to the sun or a vitamin D supplement when exposure is limited. Find out more on vitamin D.
Regular exercise and bone health
Exercise stimulates our bones to increase production of new bone tissue. Weight bearing activities and resistance exercise that become more challenging over time are best for building bones.2 Find out what exercises can help with developing your bone strength.
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Published April 3, 2014
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